Northwest Adhesives, Clark County’s established manufacturer of high-performing, food-grade industrial adhesives and pre-coated adhesive tapes, is in the process of moving staff and equipment to its new headquarters at the Steigerwald Commerce Center at the Port of Camas-Washougal.
The company has been part of the community for more than two decades and will be one of the first entities to take advantage of the port’s decision to allow private industry to build there.
Chuck Asbury, owner of Northwest Adhesives, explained that the company’s steady growth over the years has led to several moves to larger spaces. Their current move – from 6013 NE 127th Ave. in Vancouver to 4325 S. Lincoln St. at the Steigerwald Commerce Center – required building their own customized commercial building from the ground up to accommodate their specific needs.
“We chose Washougal since we could build from scratch exactly what we wanted,” said Asbury.
Occupancy of the new building was granted earlier this year and so far, the company is about halfway moved in.
“The building is finished, so it’s just a matter of moving in and doing the hookups,” said Asbury. “We had purchased new pre-move equipment that’s now operating in our new plant as a transition of capacity so we can continue to fill orders. We hope to be 100 percent moved into Washougal by the end of the year.”
Financing the move
Northwest Adhesives has been a KeyBank client for nearly 12 years, and during that time the bank assisted the company in providing capital for various equipment-related projects.
Jennifer Fern, VP and senior SBA specialist for KeyBank, shared that Northwest Adhesives was able to secure an SBA 504 loan, which provided them with 90 percent financing.
“In this case, the SBA 504 solution was provided, which allows the borrower to lock in a fixed rate and keep more cash in their pocket,” said Fern. “As we know, cash is king, and it often benefits a growing business to retain as much cash as possible to support growth. The SBA 504 solution assists with just that.”
Not an easy process
As with any company move, there are challenges and opportunities that come with the moving process. Asbury explained that the biggest challenge has come in the way of moving equipment and inventory to the new facility.
“The biggest issues remaining are to move the last two 10-foot tall mixing tanks [while] keeping them vertical, since they cannot be laid on their side,” he said.
The company has used Metro Rigging and Direct Transport to help with the move and they anticipate using trailers that can help with the process.
When asked to describe his employee’s responses to the move, Asbury shared that they’ve had a positive response throughout the process. One employee has already moved to Camas to be closer to the new plant, and they’ve also found a variety of excellent candidates from local job ads, many who are living nearby in Camas or Washougal.
“Our steady growth each year required us to move three times into progressively larger spaces since we started up in 1995,” he said. “We feel this same growth track will continue at our new manufacturing plant in Washougal and we plan to hire new employees as that growth happens. We enjoy a growth of export sales that makes the West Coast ports very handy for container shipments to Asia, Malaysia, New Zealand and Australia. We think the growth in Camas-Washougal will be dynamic and very exciting, so we’re glad we are here now.”